So you're just starting out in the big world of rock climbing, you've passed your safety test and can climb independently at your local indoor wall. Congratulations! But now what?
The climbing wall can be an intimidating place to the new blood. So we've put together this handy guide to help get you initiated into the local social circles - you'll soon realise why the climbing community is one of the friendliest sport communities going!
1. Learn The Ropes
Yes, the pun was intended! The main thing that shows a newbie from a climbing veteran is knowing your way around the ropes. Knowing how to tie a few different knots effectively, as well as having a basic general understanding of climbing terminology can set you apart from the new kid on the block. It also allows you to get involved with the climbing conversations on a social night and actually understand (sort of) what they're on about rather than just nodding and smiling. Get yourself onto the Active Elements UK Youtube channel, or check out some of our other climbing & mountaineering articles to help you out!
2. Go Social
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great places to learn more about climbing. Follow high-profile climbers such as Adam Ondra, Tommy Caldwell and Alex Honnold to immerse yourself into the world of climbing.
Aside from the celebrity climber feeds, use the socials to find other climbers near you. Get embedded in the local climbing wall's facebook page, make yourself known and find someone to belay, they'll return the favour.
3. Attend Club Nights
Leading on from the last point, get social at the local club nights and events, whether that's at the local climbing wall or a regular meet up at a crag nearby. You'll learn loads from just climbing with adn watching others, not to mention the plethora of tips you'll learn as you go.
4. Get Reading
There's a whole range of books you can get reading too immerse yourself in the world of climbing, from beginner skills for the indoor climbing gym to epic autobiographies of intreppid mountaineers. There's a lot to learn and stories to immerse yourself in. For some top recommendations, check out some of our other articles such as 'Best Books for the bold adventurer' for more inspiration.
5. Go Shopping
I was hesitant to include this, after all what's the point in shopping if you don't know what you're buying? Well, looking at different bits of kit and asking a knowledgeable sales rep for some advice will help no end. Learning how different belay devices operate and how different items allow for different types of climbing will allow you to explore and discover your own style of climbing.
Have you got any other tips or pieces of advice for new climbers to the wall? Let us (and them) know in the comments section below, or head over to the Active Elements Forums to join the conversation.
Have you got a story to share with us? Please feel free to get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
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